Maria and the Christmas angels

Fundraising at Crawley Hospital SUS-141218-150137001

Fundraising at Crawley Hospital SUS-141218-150137001

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The most well-known fundraiser in town has helped rake in almost £1,000 for charity as well as handing out 240 presents to children.

Maria Hains, of Three Bridges, started wrapping presents for children at Manor Green Primary School at Easter and has been baking for weeks in the run-up to a cake sale at Crawley Hospital.

The cake sale on Thursday (December 18), raised £960 for the League of Friends of Crawley Hospital.

Maria, 70, was not alone when it came to days spent elbow-deep in cake mix.

League of Friends chair Lesley Marginson along with Sue Irvine produced cakes and loaves and sponges by the score.

Lesley joked: “I never want to see another cake again!”

As well as the £960 raised through the cake sale, the League of Friends had their “best ever” collection at Tesco when £400 was donated by shoppers.

Lesley said: “Despite the recession, people in Crawley are still very generous.”

Maria, Lesley, Sue and the other League of Friends volunteers have raised thousands of pounds over the years for equipment for the hospital and their efforts have been roundly applauded.

But when it came to thanks, nothing said it better than the beaming smiles on the faces of the children at Manor Green as they received their presents.

Maria said: “It was lovely, they were all so excited.”

Maria has already started planning next year’s Christmas campaign, this time including older students from Manor Green College.

If anyone would like to donate a gift to the cause, they can contact Maria on 01293 403432.